Aberdeen teen athlete picks up first national title and believes there could be more to come

Aberdeen AAC’s Robbie Farquhar hopes more honours will be coming his way after producing a series of excellent performances in the Scottish Under-17 Indoor Championships.

The 16-year-old Robert Gordon’s College pupil picked up the first national title of his career in the 60m hurdles before smashing the club long jump record at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

The North-east athlete’s best hurdles time prior to this winter was 9.19secs but he reduced that to 8.83 in January’s Aberdeen open graded meeting.

He scythed another big chunk off that mark when clocking 8.69 in his heat at the national championships.

There was more to come in the final as Farquhar powered to victory in 8.58 leaving Matthew Chandler (Central AC) a distant runner-up in 8.76 with Joel McFarlane (Arbroath and District) third in 8.81.

That leaves him only 0.08secs away from the Aberdeen age group record set by Richard Singer 22 years ago.

Farquhar’s championship day out wasn’t finished, however, as he went on to set a new Aberdeen AAC Under-17 long jump record of 6.57m, when finishing second behind McFarlane’s 6.68.

That performance eclipsed the previous Aberdeen best of 6:36 set by William Stark in 1993.

Farquhar was satisfied with his achievements but is quietly confident there are more improvements to come.

He said: “I’ve never won a national event before so I’m happy with the results.

“I always believe I have a chance in competitions but, to be honest, I thought top three was what I’d get in both events.

“So to win the hurdles in a big personal best time is really good. Hopefully I can go even faster and maybe get the club record.

“I was happy with my long jump as well, although I actually felt I might have done better – but that’s how it goes.”

Farquhar, who is coached by Kenny Lyon and Frank Gauld, believes his hard work over the winter is paying off.

He said: “I’m putting in the training, doing a lot of strength and conditioning sessions as well as working on my technique.

“I train five or six days a week, including a hill running session at Balgownie on a Saturday.”

Farquhar earned his first international call-up last summer, representing Scotland in the Celtic Games junior match at Swansea where he finished second in the 100m hurdles.

He would like to experience more of these opportunities in the future but perhaps in multi-event competitions.

He said: “I enjoy multi-events and I’m planning to compete in the Scottish Heptathlon Championships later this month. I might also go to the English Under-17 Pentathlon Championships at Sheffield.

“I’d like to be selected for the schools multi-events international later in the year.”

Like most young athletes he also dreams of competing at future major championships such as the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, but will aim for steady progress over the years.

He said: “I’ll just keep trying my best and we’ll see how it goes. The next Commonwealth Youth Games might be something to aim at.”

Source : EveningExpress

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